Madness and magic from Maradona’s motherland
Three teams tied on 36 points and one game to play. Welcome to the most eagerly anticipated final day in Argentine footballing history.
San Lorenzo, arguably the country's fifth biggest team, lead the way on goal difference, with the mighty Boca Juniors, undoubtedly the most popular team in Argentina, lying in third.
And nestling in the middle... the mighty, erm, well, actually pretty tiny, Tigre.
Boca and San Lorenzo (and Tigre) to go head-to-head for title
Who, you may ask? Well, until Club Atlético Tigre were promoted to the Primera at the end of the 2006/07 season, the team from the gorgeous semi-tropical delta two hours north of Buenos Aires were anonymous, even by second division standards.
But during the 2007/08 Apertura – the second of two championships that take place each year – they stunned the footballing fraternity by finishing second. And now they have defied the critics again with an already secured top three finish and the possibility of taking top spot.
"We are hungrier than Boca and San Lorenzo," manager Diego Cagna told Olé. "We are in a historical position. We have never won a title in the Primera, and if we don't get it, it will be bad luck."
When the final whistle blows in all three games at around 7.10pm this Sunday, the Apertura will be done and dusted. Tigre need a 2-0 home win against mid-table Banfield, while San Lorenzo have a trickier test against Argentinos, who have had a poor season but are notoriously unpredictable.
Boca have the undoubted advantage with Colon travelling to play in front of a sell out crowd at the Bombonera.
Jam-packed La Bombonera plotting title party
The bookies have Boca to win, of course, but fans only need to hark back two years when Estudiantes beat them to the title in a similar situation.
The 'two seasons in a year' system, that confounds so many, does have its advantages. With only 20 games to play, the championship race is always much closer than nine-month-long seasons, and sprints over the finishing line are not rare in Argentina.
But as the apprehensive fans of Boca, San Lorenzo, and Tigre now know, this will be the most thrilling finale of any season so far.
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